Out With the Old, In With the New
Teacher's GuidePrint this Page
- Subject(s): Cross-Cultural Understanding
- Region / Country: Asia & Pacific Islands / People's Republic of China
- Grade Level(s): 6–8, 9–12
- Related Publication: Slide show | Out With the Old, In With the New
Students learn about China's cultural and economic complexities through a slide show that is written, read, and photographed by a Peace Corps Volunteer.
The guiding questions below correspond to particular slides. Use the questions to help your students better understand the slide show:
Slide 1 (0:00): What does SARS stand for? [Severe acute respiratory syndrome] Why would Peace Corps Volunteers be evacuated from a country with a SARS outbreak? [The disease can be life-threatening, and there is no effective cure.]
Slide 3 (0:21): What challenges does a population as large as China?s pose for individuals? [Finding adequate living space; finding privacy; getting a job; providing enough food; preparing for natural hazards...] For the government? [Providing adequate municipal services; maintaining infrastructure...] For the environment? [Extracting resources, such as coal or timber; polluting air from industry...]
Slide 6 (0:52): What does a massive construction boom indicate about the society? [Need for more infrastructure; strong economy...]
Slide 8 (1:15): Do similar issues arise in the United States?
Slide 10 (1:36): What seems to have been the hardest aspect of learning for Riley's students—the subject matter or the manner in which it was presented? If it was the style of presentation, why would that be so difficult? [Answers will vary, but should focus on the importance of cultural expectations, i.e., what people are used to, comfortable with, and challenged by.]
Slide 14 (2:11): Why didn't Riley's students like the answer, "Read"? [Look for the answer in the paragraph above. They apparently prefer to be led through lessons rather than directing their own instruction, which reading would be.]
Slide 16 (2:35): What might this unusual juxtaposition indicate about the state of Chinese culture today? [It might indicate a state of flux, as the population undergoes a major transition from developing to industrialized country. The ox next to the modern building might symbolize the two extremes of culture at either end of the current spectrum.]
Slide 23 (3:40): If you had to narrow down Riley's descriptions to one major point, what do you think that might be?